A 28-year old man from Charikpong, Godfred Dery has won the 4th edition of a community fun bicycle race dubbed Tour de Charikpong-2018 to retain the title he won last year.
Godfred crossed a culvert designated as the finishing line at the District Assembly in Nadowli 45 minutes into the race.
Ebenezer Yelbuori, 18, from Sampina took the second position. Yelpiedeme Dakyee, 20, from Dambaa finished third.
The 20-kilimotre event which was organized by Azumah Resources Ghana Limited, started from Yagha in the Jirapa Municipality through Kpanyanga, Yiziiri, Banu and ended at the District Assembly in Nadowli.
The Azumah Resources Ghana Limited, which is a gold prospecting entity in Nadowli initiated the Community Cycling Program in 2014 as an annual fun program open to all communities in its area of operation.
The 77 cyclists drawn from 10 communities including Kalsegra, Yiziiri, Tangasia, Nanga, Gabilee, Saan and Tandouri participated in the event.
Jennifer Sindiibu, 22, who came 10th in the overall race, won the first position in the female classification with Faustina Yaw, 23, who placed 27th being declared second in the female classification.
The two were the only females out of the 77 cyclists that took part in the race. The District Coordinating Director for Nadowli-Kaleo, Salifu B. Kanton, described the competition as very useful.
He indicated that because Azumah has been prospecting for a long time, many of the community members have a feeling that they are actually mining gold secretly. So there is usually a conflict between the community members and Azumah Resources.
He continued that some illegal miners have also found their way into Azumah Resourcess concession, and this has brought some conflict between Azumah Resources, the chiefs and community members.
The DCD for Nadowli-Kaleo expressed the hope that the cycling event will help improve the relationship between the parties.
He pointed out that District Assembly is interested in an improved relationship because if there is a threat to security, it is the responsibility of the Assembly to ensure that there is law and order as well as peace for the good people of this District to go about their routine business.
The Community Relations Officer of Azumah Resources Ghana Limited, Solomon Dery told the media that event was to whip up the interest of the people in using bicycle which the commonest and cheapest means of transport in the catchment area of the company as a pastime.
The event was also to further project the benefits of cycling among the people which range from economic, social, and environmental to health.
Mr. Dery said Azumah Resources attaches much importance to the wellbeing and health of its host communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.
He added: “The wellbeing of our communities is paramount to our success. For us to gain social license to operate in the community, we need to have community members who are fit.”
Mr. Dery concluded that: going forward, if opportunity for employment comes, then we should be able to employ locally people who are fit.
Thats why we are inculcating the need for people to adopt healthy lifestyles by cycling.
Bicycles, mobile phones and T-shirts were given to the top ten cyclists as their prizes whilst other participants received T-shirts in appreciation for the efforts.
Story and pictures by Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo